The Q&A below provides more information that may be of interest to members of the scholarly community. If you have a question that is not answered below, please contact us.

What is CHORUS?

CHORUS (Clearinghouse for the Open Research of the United States) is a suite of services and best practices that provide a sustainable solution for agencies and publishers to deliver public access to published articles reporting on U.S. funded research.

The first initiative of the non-profit CHOR, Inc., the service went live in July 2014 with more than 100 signatories, including not-for-profit and commercial publishers who collectively produce the vast majority of peer-reviewed articles reporting on funded research. CHORUS enables users to easily find and access the articles on the publishers’ sites, along with essential tools, updates, and correction and retraction information. New articles are continuously added and are freely accessible to the public, either immediately on publication or after a designated embargo period.

Built with widely used open technology, CHORUS reduces duplication of effort, minimizes costs, and ensures the continued availability of research literature, delivering value to funders, publishers, researchers, institutions, and the public at each point in the process of enabling public access: identification, discovery, access, preservation, and compliance.

How does CHORUS work?

CHORUS serves as an information bridge, supporting agency search portals and leveraging publishers’ existing infrastructure to facilitate a simple compliance process, optimized search and dashboard services, and multi-party archiving and preservation capabilities.

To initiate CHORUS’ services, authors simply have to identify their funding sources when submitting a paper for publication with a participating publisher. That action tags the article with CrossRef’s FundRef service, triggering free public access of the best available version (either the final, published version or the author’s accepted manuscript), either immediately on publication or after a designated embargo period.

The data that results from the tagging and subsequent public access is collected by CrossRef and provided by CHORUS to all at no cost through an open Application Programming Interface (API); this can be used by anyone to create new and customize available search and analytic tools. Applications to optimize search and enable funders to track and ensure compliance and analyze funding impact have already been developed by CHORUS and are available to participating agencies. CHORUS also partners with CLOCKSS and Portico to ensure the archiving and preservation of research papers.

What does this mean for Authors, Funders, Readers, Publishers, and Academic Institutions and Libraries?

Authors: CHORUS minimizes the administrative burden for authors associated with compliance with U.S. public access requirements. All they have to do is identify their funding source when submitting an article to a participating publication – that’s it. Through CHORUS, publishers take care of everything else authors have to do to comply with requirements, avoiding the need for authors to sort out complex rules about versions or manually deposit articles.

Funding Agencies: CHORUS offers funding agencies a streamlined solution to meet the public access requirements put forth by the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy in February 2013. No action is required or cost incurred by the funder to showcase research breakthroughs and discoveries by enabling access to the best available versions of papers reporting on their funded research. CHORUS creates customized funding agency portals and search engines, and our dashboard application makes it easy to monitor author and publisher compliance and demonstrate the impact of taxpayer investments.

Readers: CHORUS automates public accessibility of articles reporting on research breakthroughs, making them easier to find through Google, PubMed Central, and other search channels. Users are directed to the best available versions of the articles in context on the journal publication sites, where they are accompanied by update information, corrections and retractions, links to related articles, commentaries or editorials, and other essential tools.

Publishers: CHORUS’ services and best practices provide publishers with a cost-effective solution to meet funding agency requirements. Built on a technology framework already in use, CHORUS saves publishers time and effort in developing custom solutions for different funders. Another advantage is that CHORUS directs search results back to publishers’ own journal sites, rather than to third party repositories, thereby enhancing the value to advertisers, librarians, and users. For more information on becoming part of CHORUS, please see our Join page.

Institutions: CHORUS enables public access to research literature using existing systems that work well with the platforms and processes already used by libraries and academic institutions. By doing so, CHORUS minimizes the cost of compliance, thereby preserving funding for research itself. CHORUS’ dashboards make it easy to monitor author and publisher compliance. Other advantages are that CHORUS directs search results back to the best available versions of articles in context and with essential tools, updates, and information and guarantees their preservation in perpetuity.

Who is involved in CHORUS?

CHORUS is a cooperative effort involving publishers, funding agencies, technology and resource partners, and other organizations involved in scholarly publishing for the public benefit. Since the passage of the America COMPETES Act in 2010, and the issuance of the U. S. Office of Science and Technology Policy’s directive in February 2013, the publishing community has been working closely with funders and other stakeholders to expand access to scholarly publications reporting on funded research. CrossRef’s FundRef service, which launched in May 2013, grew out of this collaboration and CHORUS takes the effort to the next level.

More than 100 signatories already support CHORUS, including not-for-profit and commercial publishers who collectively produce the vast majority of published articles reporting on U. S. funded research. The Board of Directors of CHOR, Inc., the organization behind CHORUS, includes 11 representatives from this group (a full list of Directors can be found here).
 CHORUS is a non-profit organization with 501(c)(3) status. As a result, contributions are tax deductible, to the extent permitted by law.  We suggest you consult with your tax advisors to determine if your contributions meet that criteria.

As the organization that enables reference linking of the world’s online scholarly literature, CrossRef is an important CHORUS service provider and plays a key advisory role in its development and governance. CHORUS is built on CrossRef’s robust infrastructure, which was recently extended to include funding information in the metadata (FundRef).

Funders, academic lnstitutions, and libraries play an important advisory role in our development and future innovations. There is no cost to them for their participation, which is essential for broadening public access to articles reporting on funded research. Moreover, active funder and institutional participation is key to taking this collaboration even further. The tools CHORUS uses to identify research articles as digital objects and connect them with authors and funders hold promise for developing additional capabilities beyond current applications. If agencies and others build research data infrastructure with these tools, the common language will allow for interaction and/or integration. CHOR, Inc. is fully committed to openly sharing information and strategic advice about our technological systems.  NO

Do CHORUS and Publishers profit from CHORUS’ services?

No. CHORUS is an initiative of CHOR, Inc., a non-profit organization that has been granted 501(c)(3) status by the US Internal Revenue Service. The designation, which is retroactive to October 1, 2013, when CHOR incorporated, means that we have met the rigorous standards to qualify as a charity organized and operated for the public benefit.

It is an important affirmation of our mission to find a sustainable, cost-effective public access solution that meets the needs of all stakeholders in the scholarly community – researchers, funders, academic institutions, libraries, the public, and publishers alike.

Why is CHORUS an effective solution?

CHORUS is an effective solution for meeting public access requirements put forth by the U. S. Office of Science and Technology Policy in February 2013, offering significant advantages in terms of access, cost, ease of use, and compliance.

Access: By using publishers’ existing journal platforms, readers have access to readily discoverable, best-available versions of the articles in context on the journal publication sites, accompanied by update information, corrections and retractions, links to related articles, commentaries or editorials, and other essential tools

Cost: CHORUS builds on proven infrastructure and does not require agencies or publishers to create expensive new services. Cost-effective use of existing systems aligns with the public access policy goals, as no additional funding has been allocated for this purpose. CHORUS is available free of charge to funding agencies. Publisher investments are minimized because most participants already use our technology base.

Ease of use: CHORUS builds compliance into the existing publishing process. Authors simply indicate their funding sources when submitting an article to a CHORUS member publication. The rest is done automatically, eliminating time spent by researchers navigating complex regulations and administrative procedures. For funding agencies and research institutions, CHORUS’ dashboard application offers easy-to-use tools to monitor compliance with requirements.

Compliance: Compliance rates are likely to increase because CHORUS makes the process much easier for researchers. PubMed Central’s compliance rates are largely dependent upon publishers’ depositing articles on behalf of researchers. CHORUS simultaneously streamlines the process and reduces the administrative burden on researchers.

How can Publishers, Funders, Academic institutions, Libraries, and other organizations engaged in scholarly publishing join CHORUS?

CHOR, Inc. invites all organizations, businesses, and institutions involved in scholarly communications to become part of CHORUS.

You can choose from a number of ways to participate, with different levels of engagement and investment: Publisher Members, Affiliate Members, Funder Partners, Academic Supporters, and Signatories. Current signatories are encouraged to become members and/or partners, as appropriate.

Membership Options

Publisher Member

Open to publishing organizations and businesses (fee-based).

Publisher Members are entitled to the full array of benefits and services CHORUS provides. In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to join our Board of Directors and/or working groups, contribute to CHORUS’ governance, and help guide our future. Membership also includes a listing and logo on the CHORUS website, as well as other opportunities to promote your membership.

Request Membership

Please email info@chorusaccess.org if you wish to join as a Publisher Member.

More information about Publisher Membership.

About CHORUS’ Member Fees

Member fees (see table and notes below) are vital to CHORUS’ success—they cover our lean development and operating expenses. Yet they represent good value for our member businesses and organizations, amounting to much less of an investment than would be needed for your own public access compliance framework.

CHORUS is a service run by CHOR, Inc. an independent not-for-profit membership organization. CHOR, Inc. reserves the right to change these fees in the future. For General Publisher Member Policies, see Membership Agreement.

2017 Publisher Member Fees ($U.S.)

 

Total Publishing Revenue* Annual Publisher Membership fee
<$2.5m $550
≤$5m $1,100
≤$20m $5,000
≤$50m $10,000
≤$100m $20,000
≤$200m $35,000
≤$500m $50,000
>$500m $75,000

Notes on definition of “Total Publishing Revenue”

  1. Total Publishing Revenue includes all publishing revenue from all the divisions of an organization (primary and secondary) for all types of activities (advertising, books, journals, databases, article charges, etc). For membership organizations, member dues allocated to subscriptions will be included in total publishing revenue.
  2. For organizations that publish scholarly information as an ancillary activity, such as government organizations, the higher of either (1) total expenses for publishing operations or (2) gross publishing revenue should be used in determining the appropriate membership fee.
  3. The member is considered to be the largest legal entity rather than a division. Membership fee billing will be done on a calendar year basis.
  4. Members will self-categorize.

Member Obligations

  • Sign the CHORUS Publisher Member Agreement.
  • Pay your fees to help cover expenses.
  • Become a member of Crossref and sign up for their Open Funder Registry
  • Submit funding related data to Crossref for all new content.
  • Send public access content reuse License and Embargo metadata to Crossref.
  • Deposit full text URLs with Crossref.
  • Send relevant content to an associated archiving service such as CLOCKSS and Portico.
  • Expand public access from your online platform to provide access to the Best Available Version(s) of articles reporting on funded research (Accepted Manuscript or Version of Record) after an embargo or immediately according to your license terms.

Affiliate Member

Open to non-publisher organizations and businesses involved in scholarly publishing(fee-based).

Affiliate Members are entitled to the full array of benefits and services CHORUS provides. In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to join our Board of Directors and/or working groups, contribute to CHORUS’ governance, and help guide our future. Affiliate Membership also includes a listing and logo on the CHORUS website, as well as other opportunities to promote your membership.

Request Affiliate Membership

Please email info@chorusaccess.org if you wish to join as an Affiliate Member.

More information about Affiliate Membership.

About CHORUS’ Affiliate Member Fees

Affiliate Member fees (see tables and notes below) are vital to CHORUS’ success—they cover our start-up and operating expenses. Yet they represent good value for our member businesses and organizations, who will gain increased visibility through participation in this industry-wide effort..

CHORUS is a service run by CHOR, Inc. an independent not-for-profit membership organization. CHOR, Inc. reserves the right to change these fees in the future. For General Affiliate Member Policies, see Membership Agreement.

2017 Affiliate Membership Fees ($U.S.)

Total Gross Revenue* Annual Affiliate Membership fee
<$2.5m $550
≤$5m $1,100
≤$20m $5,000
≤$50m $10,000
≤$100m $20,000
≤$200m $35,000
≤$500m $50,000
>$500m $75,000

Notes on definition of “Gross Revenue”

  1. Gross Revenue includes all revenue from all the divisions of an organization for all types of activities.
  2. The Affiliate member is considered to be the largest legal entity rather than a division. Membership fee billing will be done on a calendar year basis.
  3. Affiliate Members will self-categorize.

Affiliate Member Obligations

  • Sign the Affiliate Member Agreement.
  • Pay your fees to help cover expenses.
  • Become an Affiliate Member of Crossref.
  • Sign up for the Open Funder Registry as part of Crossref Affiliate Membership.
  • Provide client services to submit funding related data to Crossref for all new content.
  • Provide client services to send public access content reuse License and Embargo metadata to Crossref.
  • Provide client services to deposit full text URLs with Crossref.
  • Provide client services to send relevant content to associated archiving service such as CLOCKSS and Portico.
  • Expand public access from your online platform to provide access to the Best Available Version(s) of articles reporting on funded research (Accepted Manuscript or Version of Record) after an embargo or immediately according to your license terms.

Funder Partner

Open to funding agencies and organizations at no cost.

Funder Partners are entitled to the full array of CHORUS benefits and services, notably a no-cost public access solution for the articles reporting on your funded research and customized search and dashboard applications. In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to advise on the direction of our services. Partnership also includes a listing and logo on the CHORUS website, as well as other opportunities to promote your partnership.

Request Funder Partnership

Please email info@chorusaccess.org if you wish to join as a Funder Partner.

More information about Funder Partnership.

Funder Partner Obligations

  • sign the CHORUS/Agency Partner Letter of Agreement.
  • Recommend CHORUS as part of your solution to meet OSTP (Office of Science and Technology Policy) requirements set forth in its February 2013 memorandum.
  • Use CHORUS and CrossRef’s FundRef systems (websites or APIs)
  • Ensure your agency/organization’s details are complete and correct in the FundRef Registry.
  • Consider becoming active as a CHORUS advisor.

Academic Supporter

Open to academic institutions and libraries at no cost.

Academic Supporters are entitled to a wide array of CHORUS benefits and services, notably a public access solution that optimizes discovery of articles reporting on funded research and provides dashboard compliance monitoring. In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to advise on the direction of our services. Academic Supporters are entitled to a listing and logo on the CHORUS website, as well as other opportunities to promote your affiliation.

Request Academic Supporter Affiliation

Please email info@chorusaccess.org if you wish to join as a Academic Supporter.

More information about Academic Supporter affiliation.

Academic Supporter Obligations

  1. Sign the CHORUS/Academic Supporter Letter of Agreement.
  2. Use CHORUS and CrossRef’s FundRef systems (websites or APIs)
  3. Consider becoming active as a CHORUS advisor.

Not Ready for Membership?

Signatory

During CHORUS’ pilot phase, more than 100 publishers and organizations signed on to showed their support for our goals for promoting public access. Current signatories are encouraged to become members and/or partners, as appropriate

Organizations that want to establish an affiliation with CHORUS, but are not ready to commit to one of our membership options, with organizational rights, services, and obligations, can still become signatories.

Request Signatory Affiliation

Please email info@chorusaccess.org if you wish to participate as a Signatory.

Does CHORUS work for gold open access articles and journals?

Yes, CHORUS works across all peer-reviewed publications that report on funded research, regardless of the business or access model, setting the article availability dates according to individual publishers’ policies.

What about access to funded research data?

The memorandum issued by the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy in February 2013 sets forth two objectives, one for “Public Access to Scientific Publications” and one for “Public Access to Scientific Data in Digital Form.” Each of these objectives has distinct guidelines and goals.

CHORUS addresses the requirements for “Public Access to Scientific Publications,” by leveraging existing systems and infrastructure for its streamlined, cost-effective approach. The tools we use to identify research articles as digital objects and connect them with authors and funders hold promise for developing additional capabilities beyond CHORUS’ current applications. If agencies and others build research data infrastructure with these tools, the common language will allow for interaction and/or integration. CHOR, Inc. is fully committed to openly sharing information and strategic advice about our technological systems.

What is CHORUS’ position on embargoes and public access policies?

CHOR, Inc. does not take positions — formal or informal — with respect to various public access models, embargo periods for published literature, or publishing business models in general. CHOR, Inc.’s mission is to provide a technical infrastructure to assist the various stakeholders to facilitate search, discovery, access, archiving, and preservation of articles reporting on funded research on behalf of publishers, for the benefit of funding agencies, the research community, and the general public.

Will CHORUS provide access solutions for funding agencies outside of the U.S.?

At present, CHORUS concentrates on providing a neutral, stable, and effective platform to help increase public access to peer-reviewed publications reporting on U.S. funded research. However, international scalability is a potential direction for CHOR, Inc., the not-for-profit organization behind CHORUS. To that end, we welcome conversations with industry organizations and funding agencies outside the U.S. about global opportunities for CHOR, Inc.

 

How is the FundRef taxonomy maintained and updated?

The FundRef Registry is maintained and made freely available by CrossRef in collaboration with Elsevier, which gave an initial boost by donating its taxonomy of international funder names and IDs.

The Registry is expanding to encompass the worldwide range of funders referenced in the publications of CrossRef-participating publishers. Changes and additions submitted to CrossRef are incorporated on an ongoing basis. When an article is published that references a funder not currently in the Registry, the publisher can submit that name, without a funder ID, in its CrossRef metadata deposit and the request will be reviewed by CrossRef for incorporation into Registry.

How are the FundRef Registry agency hierarchies maintained?

CrossRef consults with individual agencies and organizations to review and verify their names and hierarchy.  Any corrections or changes should be submitted to CrossRef  (fundref.registry@crossref.org).

How is post-embargo access implemented?

At the end of an embargo period, publishers make at least one version of an article — either the Version of Record (VOR) or the Accepted Manuscript (AM) — publicly accessible on their Web sites.

  • For the VOR, a publisher needs to make an access control change from subscription to open (see the following Q&A about subscription paywalls).
  • The AM is usually implemented as an additional link on an article landing page, a link that would not require subscription access (see Q&A below about versions).

Will CHORUS’ technology allow publishers to remove subscription paywalls?

Yes. Removing subscription paywalls for individual articles is a common industry practice and will not be affected by participation in CHORUS. Article-level access control is a feature of web hosting platform software that is used in hybrid model journals (mixed open- and subscription-access) as well as for marketing initiatives that make articles freely available for a limited time.

How does CHORUS handle article components (e.g. figures, supplemental material)?

CHORUS uses CrossRef Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) to link to articles.  CrossRef DOIs typically resolve to article landing pages on the publishers’ sites.

  • If the publisher is making the VOR available post-embargo, then article availability and access of its components are likely to be unchanged from the publisher’s current delivery practices; some components are embedded in PDFs, some in HTML full text, some linked to directly from the landing page (e.g. supplemental materials), or combinations of all three.
  • If the post-embargo access is to the AM (usually a PDF file), then it likely includes whatever components were embedded in the PDF by the author.  Some publishers may choose to make supplemental materials freely available regardless of the status of the article text. As agency requirements become clearer in this area, CHORUS will revisit this issue.

Can CHORUS help facilitate access to publisher XML?

Publishers may deposit additional URLs for specific uses such as text and data mining (TDM) or content syndication as part of their CrossRef DOI registration. For example, a publisher may choose to include a TDM URL that resolves to an XML, rather than HTML, landing page. These additional uses may require separate licenses and CrossRef provides a mechanism for associating appropriate licenses to each specific use. CHORUS participants are working with CrossRef to develop a robust and consistent set of metadata and licensing rules to provide a straightforward way for users to access the wide variety of content offered by publishers, using standards-based techniques such as content negotiation via HTTP.

Will CHORUS be the only place to find article re-use terms?

Because CHORUS uses CrossRef’s Application Programming Interface (API) and article metadata repository, the article re-use terms (and other information) are also available through CrossRef’s own services in the same easy-to-use front end. CHORUS requires that publishers deposit license information for every participating article into CrossRef so that information is publicly available via the CHORUS services.

Where does CrossRef store the licenses for the CHORUS articles?

CrossRef does not store the licenses. Rather, publishers deposit a link to the license at the publisher web site or, in the case of Creative Commons licenses, to the appropriate CC license.

How will publishers distinguish different versions (e.g. AM vs. VOR) of an article from each other?

CrossRef is able to support separate DOIs for each version of an article. However, most publishers are using metadata elements provided by CrossRef to tie together license terms for specific versions and uses under the DOI for the work as a whole. To fulfill the post-embargo access requirement for CHORUS, a publisher can enable public access to either the AM or the VOR from the publisher response page to which the DOI points.

How will CHORUS articles be accessible – through a central CHORUS portal or through each individual publisher’s site?

The CHORUS portal links to each article on the publisher’s site via its DOI.  CHORUS provides an interface and content-discovery tools, which are based on the metadata that publishers deposit with CrossRef. CHORUS is not a content repository, but it enables each participating publisher to ensure that articles subject to agency mandates will be discoverable and available under appropriate terms and conditions.

How does CHORUS ensure linked material is available in perpetuity?

Making sure that articles reporting on funded research will always be freely available to the public is a key CHORUS objective. It is being achieved thanks to the CHORUS publisher agreement and partnerships with trusted third-party archiving services already working with our stakeholders: libraries, publishers, funders, and institutions.

CHORUS’ agreement with trusted archives such as Portico1 and CLOCKSS ensures that material is backed up in a dark archive from where it can be taken should an article no longer be publicly available on a publisher’s website. A related section of the CHORUS-Publisher agreement stipulates that upon a “Public Access Trigger Event” the archive-deposited material will be made publically available “until and unless” the publisher restores public access through a link on its website.

Such agreements are similar to the provisions that are already in place with Portico and CLOCKSS in the event a publisher goes out of business or fails to make its material available. These systems are trusted by the research community to ensure the integrity and long-term availability of the scholarly record.